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This is a condensed version of the cover story of the March 25, 2011 edition of The Hollywood Reporter. Read the full version here.
Gibson tells THR via email he remembers Foster’s “piercing blue eyes” and that she looked as if “she just came from gym.” He was surprised when she metamorphosed into a radiant leading lady.
Foster admits she’s a very different person now, coming to terms with her own fears and insecurities — and acknowledging a depression that she says has been with her for years.
“Depression is a part of my life I accept,” she says, explaining its cause as a sort of obsessive rumination. “You think about something and you think about it again, and you keep going back to a tragic or dramatic moment and try to understand all different angles — and that’s the process of depression, which is not being able to get out of a dramatic thought or feeling. Obviously, chemical depression is very different. But it’s a big part of my life, and you have to embrace that part of yourself.”
An even bigger part has been the effective withdrawal of her mother, Brandy — the vital, anti-authoritarian presence who dominated Foster’s early life and encouraged her acting.
Foster hesitates about saying too much, at first afraid her mother will read this before realizing that can’t happen. “She’s old, and she has dementia now, so she’s in a new place,” she reflects. “She’s 82. She lives at home with lots of care.”
Her passion for her mother remains evident, with new layers added now that Foster is a mother herself. “She shaped me so much,” the filmmaker says. “And now that she’s really a new person, a different person — a very nice person, just not the mom I grew up with — I have a real nostalgia for who she was. She was brilliant and independent and came from nothing and was very forward-thinking, almost anarchically so.”
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